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ARTC [Australian Rail Track Corporation] achievements encouraging for rail reform.

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Media Release

Deputy Prime Minister

John Anderson

Minister for Transport and Regional Services



29 July 1999




The NSW, Queensland and Western Australia governments needed to get on with implementin
g their commitments to establish the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) as the single track operator for the entire interstate network, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said today.


Mr Anderson said the ARTC has achieved major successes in its first year of operation. "I would hope this will encourage more States to provide greater management responsibility for the interstate rail network to the ARTC," he said.


Mr Anderson made the comments following the ARTC’s first anniversary of operating the former Commonwealth standard gauge and the Victorian standard gauge track.


The ARTC is still seeking to establish long term access agreements for the Western Australian, New South Wales and Queensland sections of the interstate network. This would allow the ARTC to provide a single point of access for operators onto the mainline track. The ARTC would also manage development of the rail infrastructure and provide standardised operating arrangements across the entire interstate network.


On the former Commonwealth and the Victorian tracks temporary speed restrictions had been reduced to less than 1.5 per cent of the track, the lowest in the history of the railway, Mr Anderson said. "The average and maximum speed levels are also being progressively improved in Victoria, providing faster and more reliable transit times for train operations."


Another achievement was the 74 per cent market share of the land transport market on the Melbourne-Perth corridor, one of the largest market shares for rail on a transport corridor in the world.


Mr Anderson said the new ARTC chairman, Barry Murphy, and the Board would oversight further improvements in transit time and reliability.


"During the next few months ARTC will be reducing transit time on the Melbourne-Adelaide corridor for premium trains from 14 hours to 10.5 hours and for super freighters from 14 to 16 hours to 11.5 to 12.5 hours," he said.


"This will be followed by further reductions for super freighters by 30 June 2000.


It has consolidated management of the track between Kalgoorlie and the NSW border and lowered access prices. It had also achieved substantial efficiency gains through contracting maintenance works and risk sharing, allowing maintenance funds to be better utilised to improve train reliability.


"The ARTC is to be congratulated for these achievements. The travelling public and industries look forward to further improvements in the competitiveness of rail in coming years," Mr Anderson said.


Media Contact: Brett Bayly (02) 6277 7680 / (0418) 407 320



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